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Vol. 44 No. 4 Category

The Immunity of State Officials Under The UN Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and Their Property

Jun. 25, 2012—The U.S. Supreme Court decided in Samantar v. Yousuf that claims of immunity by individual foreign officials in U.S. courts will be determined not under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act but instead under the common law, drawing on principles of international law. The 2005 UN Convention on the Jurisdictional Immunities of States and Their Properties...

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The Dog that Caught the Car: Observations on the Past, Present, and Future Approaches of the

Jun. 25, 2012—The Supreme Court’s decision in Samantar v. Yousuf vindicated the position of the State Department’s Office of the Legal Adviser, which had long argued that the immunities of current and former foreign government officials in U.S. courts are defined by common law and customary international law as articulated by the Executive branch, rather than by...

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Foreign Official Immunity After Samantar

Jun. 25, 2012—In Samantar v. Yousuf, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) does not govern the immunity of foreign officials from legal proceedings in U.S. courts. Part I of this symposium contribution seeks to put in sharper focus exactly what is, and what is not, in dispute following Samantar. Part...

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The “Common Law Regime” of Foreign Sovereign Immunity: The Actual Possession Rule in Admiralty

Jun. 25, 2012—It has been a long-standing rule in admiralty that in order for a foreign sovereign to assert immunity in U.S. courts, the res that is the object of the maritime claim must be in the actual possession of the foreign state at the time the case is brought. Inasmuch as Samantar recognized the existence of...

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Samantar and Executive Power

Jun. 25, 2012—This essay examines Samantar v. Yousuf in the context of broader debate about the relationship between federal common law and executive power. Samantar represents simply the latest effort by the Executive Branch to literally shape the meaning of law through a process referred to in the literature as “executive lawmaking.” While traditional accounts of executive...

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Head of State Immunity as Sole Executive Lawmaking

Jun. 25, 2012—At the request of the Executive Branch, courts routinely dismiss private suits against sitting heads of foreign states. Congress has never delegated authority to the Executive Branch to identify principles governing head of state immunity. The courts’ practice thus appears inconsistent with the conventional view that the Executive Branch lacks authority to affect private rights...

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State Immunity and Human Rights: Heads and Walls, Hearts and Minds

Jun. 25, 2012—This Article suggests that arguments against the availability of state immunity as a bar to civil actions alleging internationally wrongful ill-treatment abroad are not only destined to fall by and large on deaf ears but are also misdirected as a matter both of fairness and of the ultimate policy objectives of human rights advocates. It...

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The Political Economy of Jus Cogens

Jun. 25, 2012—This Article examines the basis of an asserted jus cogens exception to sovereign immunity. It demonstrates that the vision of jus cogens one embraces depends on background assumptions about the present and future of the international system. A robust conception of jus cogens assumes: (1) that independent judges and tribunals, informed by the views of...

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The International Law of State Immunity and Its Development by National Institutions

Jun. 25, 2012—The proceedings between Germany and Italy currently pending before the International Court of Justice have revived interest in the legal regime of jurisdictional immunity of states. Germany charges Italy with violating the basic rule of state immunity by entertaining reparation claims brought before its civil courts by victims of serious breaches of international humanitarian law...

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

The Journal is pleased to announce its 2018-2019 Board of Editors. View the complete masthead here.

Vanderbilt University Law School Professor Michael A. Newton’s 2016 VJTL Article entitled How the International Criminal Court Threatens Treaty Norms  was cited by the International Criminal Court prosecutor’s November 2017 filing seeking investigation into war crimes in Afghanistan.

May 2018 Issue on the Second Israel Defense Forces International Conference on the Law of Armed Conflict. Read more about the Journal’s May 2018 issue here.

Thank you to everyone who attended the Journal’s 50th Anniversary celebration on October 5, 2017! View photos from the event here and read about the Journal’s history here.

Connect with the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law on LinkedIn.

The Journal is pleased to listed as the #5 International Law Journal by the 2017 Washington and Lee Law Journal Rankings.

The Journal is very excited about the success of our February 2017 Symposium, “Sovereign Conduct on the Margins of the Law.” Read more about our February 2017 Symposium here

Please join us in congratulating the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 2017-2018 Write-On Competition Winners.

Video is available from the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law’s 2015-2016 SymposiumThis is Not a Drill: Confronting Legal Issues in the Wake of International Disasters. Watch here.